Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS watch
Garmin Forerunner 610 review: A GPS watch aimed at the fitness junkie
- Looks like a normal watch, albeit a bulky one
- Huge range of workout features integrated
- GPS works accurately and stores plenty of data
- Battery life is limited to eight hours of exercise
- Not waterproof (so no swimming)
- Touchscreen isn't great
Garmin's Forerunner 610 is pricy but if you're a serious athlete we can definitely see its value. It's able to track and store a huge range of workout metrics in combination with the bundled heart-rate monitor, and includes software to monitor your long-term progress via PC. The touchscreen may be a bit fiddly but our biggest concern is the short-ish battery life.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Garmin Forerunner 610 is a watch with a built-in GPS and a huge range of data logging capabilities — it’s designed to be an all-in-one tool for anyone looking to track their workouts or fitness routines. We can’t think of anything workout-wise that’s missing from it; our chief concern is the battery life and sometimes-fiddly touchscreen.
Garmin Forerunner 610: Design and operation
The Garmin Forerunner 610 looks just like a regular watch — from a distance we’d struggle to tell it from a good ol’ fashioned G-Shock. It is a bit chunky at 1.42cm thick, but the curved metal rear case means it’s comfortable even when tightly strapped on during exercise. The face of the watch is just under 4.6cm wide, and the touchscreen LCD is 2.5cm in diameter; it’s easy to read the time off the Garmin Forerunner 610 at arm’s length, but reading some of the smaller text requires bringing the watch closer. There are three physical buttons on the Forerunner 610’s case — a power/backlight button, and stopwatch-style start/stop and lap buttons.
The touchscreen of the Garmin Forerunner 610 is a resistive one. You can use any implement to operate it, but we found that a soft tap or swipe occasionally didn’t register — you’ll get best results if you use a bit of force. Since the touch-sensitive area is only a little over an inch in size, using a forefinger means it’s possible to occasionally hit the wrong button; we opted to use our slightly daintier pinky fingers to move through the Forerunner 610’s menus.
Thankfully, the menus are simply laid out and easy to navigate. There are four main screens for the Forerunner 610 to display during exercise, which can be swapped between by tapping or swiping across the face of the watch — the normal date/time, a heart-rate read-out (for use with the optional heart-rate monitor), GPS info, and a page of customisable workout stats.
If you want to delve into the settings of the Garmin Forerunner 610 — maybe to change your minimum and maximum heart-rate settings, or to change your preferred distance measurement from miles to kilometres — you’ll need to tap the bottom of the screen and swipe vertically through menu options. The button for each sub-menu is only around 5mm tall so it’s possible to tap the wrong one accidentally, but this isn’t much of an inconvenience and we found we only had to visit the menu a few times throughout our testing of the Forerunner 610.
Our review unit of the Garmin Forerunner 610 was bundled with a heart-rate monitor, which is worn on a chest strap. You can also purchase a Garmin foot pod (for around $100 extra) which has an accelerometer to measure your cadence, stride length and other exercise minutiae. Coupled with the inbuilt GPS, the foot pod ensures you’ll always be able to track your running or cycling speed and performance.
Garmin Forerunner 610: Performance
To test the Garmin Forerunner 610, we took it on several hour-long runs over a couple of weeks, with the bundled heart-rate monitor strapped on. Now, we’re not exactly prime athletes, but we think we took the Forerunner 610 on a suitable range of exercises to test its capabilities. In any case, we got uncomfortably sweaty. It wasn’t fun.
After we’d fully charged the Garmin Forerunner 610, we took it on a stroll through the built-up CBD of North Sydney. It took about five minutes to find and lock on to enough GPS satellites to provide accurate location and distance data, but after that we found we could walk around the area’s skyscrapers and tall buildings without entirely losing the GPS signal. Once we were out in the suburbs in more open terrain, the Forerunner 610 never had trouble acquiring a GPS lock and did so within two minutes each time. When indoors, the GPS cuts out quickly; the watch defaults to an ‘indoor’ low-power mode.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCFull Stack Developers x4!QLD
- FTSAP Fiori Technical SpecialistsACT
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 2/ 3 Systems AdministratorVIC
- CCIT Information ArchitectNSW
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- CCOracle CCB DesignerVIC
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- CCBusiness Analysts - Benefits RealisationACT
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTScrum Coach / Agile CoachACT
- FTProject Manager (Cyber Security) - Permanent - IT Services - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCSystems EngineerNSW
- CCService Delivery Analyst - Port MacquarieNSW
- CCSenior Full-Stack Developer (Digital Transformation Project)QLD
- FTTelecommunications Installation ManagerSA
- FTDrupal Developer - Senior or Mid levelQLD
- FTSolutions Architect (Collaboration Technology) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTApplication Support Lead - Health ApplicationsNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)VIC
- CCServer SOE EngineerACT
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystACT
- FTFunctional Security Test Analyst | OWASPVIC
- CCUAT Test CoordinatorQLD